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'Built for expansion': the ‘social life’ of the WHO’s mental health GAP Intervention Guide

Mills, C. and Hilberg, E. (2018). 'Built for expansion': the ‘social life’ of the WHO’s mental health GAP Intervention Guide. Sociology of Health and Illness,

Abstract

The focus of the paper is the WHO’s mhGAP Intervention Guide (mhGAP-IG) 2.0 (2016), an evidence-based tool and guideline to help detect, diagnose and manage the most common mental disorders, designed for use by non-specialists globally but particularly in low- and middle-income countries. This research traces the always partial ‘living history’ and ‘social lives’ (the performance and conditions of possibility) of mhGAP-IG– how it is ‘done’ and what it ‘does. We examine the conditions of possibility that produce and legitimate mhGAP-IG, and the ways these are ‘black-boxed’ through casting mhGAP-IG in technical rather than epistemological terms. The paper illuminates how its explicit design for global expansion positions mhGAP-IG as open to questioning from those who are technical ‘insiders’ and setting the epistemological parameters of its own critique. It analyses mhGAP-IG as an ‘inscription device’ that inscribes and materialises algorithmic imaginaries of mental health that impact on design and local implementation. This paper is one attempt at initiating dialogue with the WHO from perspectives and methodological approaches not usually included in the conversation. Throughout, mhGAP-IG within the wider global mental health assemblages that make the tool possible and shape its global circulation.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Mills, C. and Hilberg, E. (2018). 'Built for expansion': the ‘social life’ of the WHO’s mental health GAP Intervention Guide. Sociology of Health and Illness, which si to be published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1467-9566. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/21635
[img] Text - Accepted Version
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